President Mamnoon Hussain launches ‘6th Think Tanks Forum of Islamic Countries’ on March 7 …

President of Pakistan
President of Pakistan
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Mushahid Hussain.

Islamabad:Senator Mushahid Hussain Sayed has announced that for the first time in Pakistan, the two-day ‘Think Tanks Forum of the Islamic Countries’ would be held on March 7-8, in Islamabad, under the joint auspices of the Pakistan-China Institute (PCI), the Turkish Asian Center for Strategic Studies (TASAM), the Konrad Adenauer Stiftung (KAS) and Pakistan’s Senate Committee on Defence. Senator Mushahid Hussain is Chairman of Organising Committee of the Think Tanks Forum, which Pakistan is hosting for the first time.

Previously held every two years in Istanbul, Cairo, Baku, Baghdad and Tehran, the subject of this year’s forum is “Addressing Multi-Dimensional Security Challenges in the Islamic Countries” and will focus on themes addressing security challenges (such as terrorism, extremism and cyber security); cooperation in defence, politics and economy; dialogue among Muslims to promote unity; as well as promoting a soft power image of Muslim countries as a whole.

The ‘Think Tanks Forum of the Islamic Countries’, having its Secretariat in Istanbul, is a biannual gathering of the representatives of think tanks from Muslim countries, and is hosted by TASAM, a think tank based in Istanbul. The Forum has a 9-member board of eminent persons from different Muslim countries, where Senator Mushahid Hussain, Chairman PCI and Chairman of the Senate Committee on Defence, represents Pakistan, while other represented countries include Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Iran, Bangladesh, Azerbaijan, Egypt, Malaysia and Sudan.

Sartaj Aziz
Sartaj Aziz

“With the active cooperation of our German partner KAS in this important event, Germany’s growing role as a bridge between the West and the East, between cultures, civilizations and religions, between Europe and Asia/the Arab World, will be reinforced,” said Senator Mushahid, as the conference would bring more than 50 top intellectuals, opinion leaders from the OIC member and observer countries, and heads of think tanks from 30 Muslim and other countries, together in Islamabad. “This is the most prestigious non-governmental forum of its kind, affording a platform to the best and most prominent members of the international intellectual community, to debate issues of most pertinent concern to Muslim countries.” He further said.
The President of Pakistan, H.E. Mr. Mamnoon Hussain, has graciously accepted the invitation to address the Forum on the the first day, while the Advisor to the Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs and National Security, H.E. Mr. Sartaj Aziz, will address the opening ceremony on the morning of the second day. Chairman Senate, Senator Nayyar Hussain Bokhari will give the Concluding Address on March 8.

TAUQEER

Ugandan In charge of Regional Cooperation visit POF Wah

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H.E. Mr. Asuman Kiyingi-Minister of State for Foreign Affairs , Incharge of Regional Cooperation-Uganda and an official delegation along with Lt Gen Muhammad Ahsan Mahmood Chairman POF Board during POF visit.

WAH CANTT :Asuman Kiyingi-Minister of State for Foreign Affairs and Incharge of Regional Cooperation-Uganda alongwith an official delegation visited Pakistan Ordnance Factories. On arrival at POF, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Uganda was received by Lt Gen Muhammad Ahsan  Mahmood, Chairman POF Board & POF Board Members. Director Exports in his detailed briefing told the delegation that POF was the premier defence organization of the country which was not only meeting defence requirement of the Armed Forces of Pakistan but also exporting its products to more than 30 countries around the globe. POF is a gigantic complex with 14 directly control factories and plants, 9 subsidiaries and total work force is more than 26 thousand. POFs industrial base is strong enough to undertake development and production of all most all types of conventional arms and ammunition. At the end of briefing, Chairman POF Board gave detailed answers of the queries raised by the Minister of Foreign Affairs Uganda. The delegation visited POF Product Display Lounges, later they were taken to some production units where they witnessed the manufacturing process of arms and ammunition.  The delegation showed keen interest in the manufacturing process of arms and ammunition. The Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Uganda while endorsing his comments in the visitors’ book wrote that “he was very much impressed by the capacity and capabilities developed by the Govt. of Pakistan in the armament industry. Uganda should collaborate and cooperate more with Pakistan so that we can tap into each others potentialities”.  

AMJAD

Top Jamaat leader in new bid to halt execution

DHAKA: A leader of Bangladesh’s largest religious party lodged an appeal Thursday in the Supreme Court against his death sentence for atrocities committed during the 1971 independence war.

54f828a4766d1Lawyers for Mohammad Kamaruzzaman, the third-highest ranked leader of the Jamaat-e-Islami party, filed the “review petition” with the Supreme Court, which in November last year had upheld the original sentence.

Read more: Top Bangladesh JI leader ‘may hang next week’

If the country’s apex court rejects the review, the 62-year-old’s only chance of avoiding the gallows will then be if he is granted clemency by the country’s president.

Legal experts say the Supreme Court has only overturned a death sentence on a handful of occasions as a result of a review petition, as such a move would be an admission of a serious legal error in the first place.

“In our application we have submitted 44 grounds for review of the judgement. We think there were serious discrepancies in the testimonies given by the prosecution witnesses,” defence lawyer Tajul Islam told AFP.

“We have detected some apparent mistakes in the face of the records”, he said, adding a review of the mistakes could lead to the “acquittal” of the Jamaat leader.

In December 2013, Bangladesh executed Jamaat leader Abdul Quader Molla for war crimes, just hours after his review petition was rejected by the Supreme Court.

Take a look: Bangladesh top court orders senior Jamaat leader to hang

The upholding of Kamaruzzaman’s execution order could worsen the ongoing unrest in the country, which has been hit by deadly protests over the opposition’s bid to topple the government of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.

At least 108 people have died since the start of the year, most in firebombings buses and trucks by opposition supporters.

The country plunged to its deadliest political violence in 2013 after a special war crimes court handed down a series of death sentences to Jamaat leaders for their role in the 1971 conflict which saw the then east Pakistan secede from the regime in Islamabad.

Opposition parties say the war crime courts are politically-motivated and aimed at settling scores, while rights groups say the trials have fallen short of international standards.

Hasina’s secular government maintains they are needed to heal the wounds of the conflict, which it says left three million people dead. Independent experts put the death toll much lower.

Tribunal hearing Shakil Afridi appeal dissolved

PESHAWAR: A Pakistani doctor jailed after helping the CIA in the hunt for Osama bin Laden faces fresh legal turmoil after the tribunal hearing his appeal was dissolved, officials said Thursday.

54f84336c7242Shakeel Afridi was jailed for 33 years in May 2012 after he was convicted of ties to militants, though some US lawmakers said the case was revenge for Afridi helping in the search for the Al Qaeda chief.

Afridi was convicted under the tribal justice system and last year a tribunal cut 10 years off his sentence.

Take a look: Shakil Afridi case: Commissioner FCR reduces sentence by 10 years

But his efforts to clear his name on appeal have been hit by long delays and adjournments and suffered another blow with Thursday’s development.

“The tribunal is no longer functional because the contracts of its members and chairman expired on January 26,” Pir Fida, a senior lawyer and outgoing member of the tribunal, told AFP.

So far no replacements have been hired or plans made to renew the contracts, Fida added.

The news was confirmed by an administrative official from the court Federally Administered Tribal Areas (Fata) Tribunal.

Fida said the tribunal “has been practically dissolved” and it is now unclear when the next hearing in the case will take place.

“They are just changing dates and adjourning cases, one after another, “Afridi’s lawyer Qamar Nadim said.

Pakistan’s powerful army were hugely embarrassed by the May 2011 US special forces raid — conducted without Pakistani knowledge — that found and killed bin Laden in the northern town of Abbottabad, a stone’s throw from an elite military academy.

The CIA recruited Afridi for a fake vaccination programme in a bid to confirm the 9/11 mastermind was living in Abbottabad.

The plan was to use the drive as cover to collect DNA material after vaccinating bin Laden’s children as a way of positively identifying the Al Qaeda leader.

An initial Pakistani investigation into the bin Laden raid called for Afridi to be tried for treason for helping the United States.

In January last year, Washington linked the release of $33 million of the aid it pays to Pakistan with the release of Afridi.

The CIA’s fake vaccination campaign increased Taliban opposition to immunisation drives, which the militants say are cover for spying, and attacks on health teams have claimed 74 lives since December 2012.

KU probe body finds teacher guilty of sexual harassment

KARACHI: An inquiry committee comprising senior teachers of Karachi University found a fellow teacher guilty of sexual harassment, it emerged on Wednesday.

54f81bbca80b0The inquiry report was submitted to the KU vice chancellor a few days ago. It took the committee almost two months to complete the inquiry, though the report was supposed to be submitted within 10 days.

According to sources, the teacher appointed at the social work department had been accused of sexual harassment by many students. Upon contact, the KU registrar said: “Yes, the report has been submitted. But it is with the vice chancellor and is confidential.”

The KU vice chancellor was not immediately available for comments.

The report with recommendations would be submitted before the university syndicate for action.

Speaking to NNP, students expressed little hope that the teacher would be punished and said that the university had a poor record of punishing teachers allegedly involved in immoral activities.

“There is likely to be another inquiry in which the teacher would be absolved of all charges and declare innocent. This is what had happened earlier,” said a student while referring to a case in which another teacher facing similar charges was reinstated after a gap of two years in 2014.

In the same case, the sources said, the KU administration had instituted two inquiries: the first inquiry found the teacher guilty and recommended punishment for him. But for some unexplained reasons, another inquiry was initiated that absolved the teacher of the charges. The inquiry report was presented at the KU syndicate meeting last November and the teacher was reinstated.

Meanwhile, there has been no progress in a case of ‘inappropriate behaviour’ against a male teacher (of the Urdu department) who took classes at the mass communication department.

A complaint against the said teacher was submitted by the mass communication department chairman to his counterpart at the Urdu department in January this year.

“I was told that an inquiry committee would be set up to investigate the charges but nothing has been done about the case so far,” said chairman of the mass communication department Prof Tahir Masood.